Observations and musings on Jacksonville Politics

FL Representative Under Fire For Stock Trades

The Cleveland Plain-Dealer has named US Rep Ginny Brown-Waite (R-Brooksville) as one of the members of the U.S. House Financial Services Committee who engaged in the trading of financial stocks as the bottom fell out of the market last year.  The trades were ironic, the Plain-Dealer said, because these same Representatives would later sit in judgement of these same companies, criticizing them for “greed.”  Some of the trades occurred on the same day Congress voted on bank bailout legislation.

According to the Plain-Dealer, Ms. Brown-Waite purchased up to $15,000 in Citigroup stock the day before the House passed the bailout legislation.  Less than two weeks later, on the same day Bush Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson was pressuring banks to accept the bailout money, Ms. Brown-Waite purchased up to $15,000 in Bank of America stock.

Of course, the lesson here might be to never look to a member of Congress for investment advice.  On October 2, 2008, Citigroup stock was trading at $22.50.  It closed on June 29, 2009 at $3.02.  On October 13, 2008, Bank of America stock was trading at $22.79.  It closed on June 29, 2009 at $13.19.

Ms. Brown-Waite was certainly not the only member of Congress involved in the trades.  The full article can be found here.


Filed under: Florida, Florida Politics, , , , , ,

Corrine Might Deliver

Well, we all know Corrine Brown’s slogan: Corrine Delivers.  In a proposed $3.5 trillion federal budget that is now being discussed in conference committee, Corrine has $432 million in earmarks for nearly 100 projects.   As pointed out in an Orlando Sentinel article, to put Brown’s earmarks in perspective, consider that fellow Congresswoman Ginny Brown-Waite has only requested 9 earmarks totaling $16 million.  Corrine requested about $40 million for Lockheed Martin alone – more than double the entire portfolio of earmarks sought by Brown-WaiteOr another way to look at it: each of us here in Jacksonville could receive a payout of approximately $536 apiece if Corrine’s requested earmarks were distributed evenly.

Click here for Corrine Brown’s complete earmark list.

Filed under: Florida Politics, Jacksonville, ,

US Senate free-for-all in Florida

Jeb Bush’s announcement that he will not seek the seat of retiring US Senator Mel Martinez in 2010 should set the stage for a free-for-all in both parties.

Expect Alex Sink, provided she wants a DC role, to emerge as the front-runner on the Democratic side. Rep. Allen Boyd has made no secret of the fact that he would like to run and several other Democrats are likely to jump in. Sink; however, is the front-runner. And, without Jeb Bush on the other side, Sink should emerge as a strong favorite in the race.

The Republican field will most likely blow up in the next few months as various hopefuls vie for position. Attorney General Bill McCollum fancies himself a US Senator, so you should expect to see him jump in relatively soon. Never mind all that Clinton impeachment stuff and his two failed prior bids, he thinks he can win it this time. (Let’s see if he picked up any of Charlie Crist’s abilities to turn the Attorney General’s Office into a PR machine.) Former Speaker of the House Marco Rubio might have stepped aside for Jeb Bush (Bush is viewed as his mentor), but he harbors no sense of loyalty to McCollum. He has his sights set on grander things (he’d really like to challenge Crist in the Gubernatorial Primary, but doesn’t think the GOP would be keen on it, even though many view Crist as too moderate.) and would love to be Florida’s second Cuban-American Senator. US Rep. Connie Mack could make a great candidate, but he gives the impression that he entered politics because of his name, not necessarily because he has a passion for campaigning. Other Republicans to watch: washed up former CFO Tom Gallagher, former Lt. Governor Toni Jenning, US Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite and yes, attention-loving Governor Charlie Crist.

We are gonna have a real race, folks. Buckle up.

Filed under: Florida, Florida Politics, , , , , , , , , , , ,

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